Sunday, April 22, 2018

I saw Kevin Grossnicklaus speak on Azure yesterday.

Kevin was the opening act for this event. Everything in Azure at its highest level is a "resource." A resource can mean many things. DTUs (database transaction units) are a measurement of how many concurrent calls you need per X number of users, etc. Underneath Azure there is a very rich API and it is possible to talk to Azure through PowerShell scripts. There are datacenters for Azure all over the world. It possible to have your stuff randomly assigned to a CSP (cloud service provider) and it also is possible to specify a datacenter. US DoD East is for example a data center for the American government to secure its doings and isolate its data from other data.

The European Union has stricter data-keeping standards than America and there will be the need for European interests to be hosted on EU compliant servers such as "North Europe" in Ireland. The Brexit is challenging British use of the "North Europe" server apparently. Kevin touched on IaaS versus PaaS versus SaaS though his description of PaaS was different from my original understanding as suggested here. Infrastructure as a Service entails spinning up VMs. You may pick your operating system, be it Red Hat or be it Windows. Software as a Service can mean IIS in the cloud or it can mean subscribing to someone else's Azure hosting software for a fee. That's not really new. Platform as a Service was however described today as maybe something like a SQL database in the cloud that you could limitedly talk into through a connection string, more limited in scope than spinning up SQL Server yourself on a IaaS VM but also a little more to the point as well. Paying for a subscription to use Visual Studio or the PowerBuilder IDE for SAP stuff are other examples. Key Vault, a service for saving private keys in your apps, is yet another PaaS trapping still. Setting up your own infrastructure outside of Azure entails a lot of chores that go away with IaaS and from there even more chores go away with PaaS and finally SaaS takes the most off your plate as seen here:

Beyond the portal at there is a shell at and you may run command line commands there such as az vm list to see a list of your VMs. Logic Apps make for the modern BizTalk implementations, inter-organization middleware (bridges between OS and software or software and a database or whatever) allowing for process automation. Cerebrata has UI tools for Azure. Storage Explorer is sort of the FileZilla for file storage at Azure. There is a distinction between Premium and Standard Storage which has to do with whether or not you are using RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks and originally Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) Arrays which spread work across multiple disks. Crazy things you may use in Azure like the Face API for recognizing an identity based upon a photo allow you to up your game in terms of what you can realistically do when you build an app. The so-cost-prohibitive-it's-impossible is getting easier as you don't have to roll it yourself.

Kevin mentioned that a lot of the kids he works with have never seen a five and a quarter inch floppy disk and don't know what they are beyond a save icon. I wasn't used to seeing all of the fountains at the event. You never see these anymore in Texas because they are so wasteful. I'm not in Texas anymore though.

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